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since June 19, 2001


Dale's Web Pages

The pedophiles' plan for legalizing their perversionN


By Dale O'Leary

An article by Bruce Rind, Philip Tromovitch, and Robert Bauserman entitled "A Meta-Analytic Examination of Assumed Properties of Child Sexual Abuse Using College Samples" in the Psychological Bulletin, a publication of the American Psychological Association, had drawn a firestorm of criticism. The authors concluded that based on their meta-analysis of studies on child sexual abuse "the negative effects were neither pervasive nor typically intense, and that men reacted much less negatively than women."

The APA defended publication of the article. APA spokeswoman Rhea Faberman that the APA is a scientific organization "we try to create a lot of dialogue." She called talk show host Dr. Laura Schlessinger's attempt to build a bridge between publication of the article and "the so-called attempt to normalize pedophila" ridiculous.

Contrary to Ms. Faberman's assertion, the connection between Robert Bauserman, one of the article's authors and the very real movement to legalize sex between adults and children can be easily documented. The APA should have known about this connection before they published the article.  


In 1990 the Journal of Homosexuality published a double issue which was later republished as a book entitled Intergenerational Intimacy Historical, Socio-Pyschological and Legal Perspective. In this book a number of writers make the case for relaxing the laws against sex between adult men and boys. The volume also includes two short responses, extremely critical of adult/child sexual relationships.

In the forward to the volume, Gunter Schmidt presents a sympathetic view of pedophilia.

Pedophile relationships are extremely varied, despite their common features, too varied to allow us to use the term "sexual abuse" as a synonym without being guilty of discriminating against and defaming a whole group of people.

There are, even where no physical force or pressure is exerted, relationships which are exploitative, damaging, and blind to the child's needs; there are also relationships in which children realize that the adult is in a weak position because of the law and use this power in the a blackmailing fashion. And there are successful pedophile relationships which help and encourage the child, even though the child often agrees to sex while really seeking comfort and affection. These are often emotionally deprived, deeply lonely socially isolated children who seek , as it were, a refuge in an adults' love and for whom, because of their misery, see it as a stroke of luck to have found such an 'enormously nurturant relationship.'... It looks as though children who are not emotionally deprived are, so to speak 'immune' to the advances of an adult seeking sexual contact. Each individual case must be looked upon on its own merits and, for this reason the threat to make all pedophile acts punishable by law can barely be labeled civilized; on the contrary, it is unjust, for it implies the discrimination and persecution of a minority and should be abolished.

Schmidt apparently believes that pedophiles should not be punished for engaging in sexual relationships with emotionally vulnerable and psychologically needy children. The obvious answer for these children would be supportive non-sexual relationships. But it is clear from other articles in the same volume that pedophiles are not able to provide because they are themselves emotional children.

In the introduction to the same volume "Man-Boy Relationships: Different Concepts for a Diversity of Phenomena", Theo Sandfort, Edward Brongersman, and Alex van Naerssen, all known advocates for pedophilia, write:

It is difficult to predict what will happen in the future with respect to man-boy relationships, child sexuality, and the position of children in our society. Will pedophilia become a lifestyle for some people, based on their personally designed sexual orientation" Will society allow people to adopt such a lifestyle, or will society persist in seeing them only as child molesters? Can sexual involvement between adults and children be only conceived as child sexual abuse, or will professionals and the public come to realize that there are various kinds of intimate involvement between adults and children and that distinctions between voluntary involvement and forced involvement can be made? While children get more possibilities to construct their own sexualities, unrestricted by parents, professionals, the church, and pedophiles?

In 1984 Theo Sandfort published a report of interviews with 25 boys aged 10 to 16 who were currently involved in sexual relationships with adult men. The interviews took place in the residences of the adult men. Sandfort concluded that the relationships were viewed positively by the boys. Given the circumstances, namely that the boys were in ongoing relationships and interviewed in the homes of the pederasts (although not in their presence), such a result is not surprising.

In 1990 in an article entitled "Objectivity and Ideology: Criticism of Theo Sandfort's Research on Man-Boy Sexual Relations," Robert Bauserman defended the research of Theo Sandfort and criticized those who found the research to be unethical. Bauserman admits that the goal is for people to look at child/adult sexual relations "objectively". The following are excerpts from the Bauserman article:


Three critiques of Theo Sandfort's research on man-boy sexual relationships in the Netherlands are examined and evaluated. Three types of criticism - methodological, speculative, and moral -- are identified. specific criticism of the study are evaluated on the basis of their validity and , where appropriate, their underlying assumptions. It is argued that moral condemnation of such relationships, combined with a prevailing ideology of boy "victims" and adult "perpetrators," results in efforts by Sandfort's critics to attack and discredit his research rather than evaluate it objectively.

In 1981 Theo Sandfort, lecturer in psychology at the State University of Utrecht in the Netherlands, published the results of his study of 25 boys aged 10 to 16 who were involved in ongoing pederastic relationships with adult men at the time of the study. He concluded that "For virtually all the boys... the sexual contact itself was experienced positively and had no negative effect on how the youngster felt in general (Sandfort 1982). Sandfort also determined that the boys did not perceive a misuse of power by the men.

Sandfort writes "the question was whether a sexual contact with an adult could be a positive experience for a child. To the extent to which this research material can give a definite answer, the question must be answered in the affirmative."

Expert on sexual child abuse David Finkelhor responded to Bauserman as follows:

Epidemiological studies show that adult-child sexual contact is a predictor of later depression, suicidal behavior, dissociative disorders, alcohol and drug abuse, and sexual problems even when other noxious background factors are controlled for.

The public policy priority to protect children from unwanted and coercive sexual approaches by adults seems justified given the evidence of its wide prevalence and the high risk for serious effects. The (now grown) children who have had such experiences are very active in lobbying for such protection.

Dr. David Mrazek criticized the ethics of the Sandfort study and of Bauserman's defense of Sandfort:

In this study, the researchers joined with members of the National Pedophile Workshop to "study" the boys who were the sexual 'partners' of its members... there is no evidence that human subject safeguards were a paramount concern. However, there is ample evidence that the study was politically motivated to 'reform' legislation. Specific risks that are not even acknowledged in the book include contracting sexually transmitted diseases, legal prosecution, and breached confidentiality leading to peer discrimination and family disruptions. These researchers knowingly colluded with the perpetuation of secret illegal activity. .. In the majority of cases, these boys' parents were unaware of these sexual activities with adult men and the researchers contributed to this deception by their action.

Bauserman continued is campaign to legitimize child/adult sexual relationship with an article co-authored with Bruce Rind in the Journal of Sex Research. (Aug. 1993) entitled "Biased terminology effects and biased information processing in research on adult-nonadult sexual interactions: An empirical investigation." The study sought to prove that using "value-laden negative terms" to describe child/adult sex biased the results of studies.

The pressure for the acceptance of adult/child sexual relations has not abated. An article in the Journal of Homosexuality Feb. 1999, "The Pattern of Sexual Politics: Feminism, Homosexuality and Pedophila ", Harris Mirkin argues: "Current attitudes toward child sexuality and representations of it resemble historical attitudes toward women and homosexuals." He sees the battle in two parts:

The first is a battle to prevent the battle, to keep the issue from being seen as political and negotiable. Psychological and moral categories are used to justify ridicule and preclude any discussion of the issue, and standard Constitutional guarantees are seen as irrelevant. The second more closely resembles traditional politics as different groups argue over rights and privileges. Feminist and gay/lesbian politics have recently entered the second phase, while pedophilia is in the first.

It is clear from this article that those who are interested in legalizing sexual relations between adults and children want to change the parameters of the discussion, from the "absolutist" moral and ethical it is always wrong and should be illegal to the "relativist" position that sometimes it can be beneficial. According to this view, any discussion of benefits of child/adult sex is a victory.

The article in the APA Bulletin was clearly an effort to move the discussion in that direction. It is difficult to see how the editors could have been so blind as not to recognize the ultimate goal of the writers.

The strategy as outlined by Mirkin is to move the debate from a "subjective" discussion of morality to an "objective" discussion of the subjective feelings of the victims. This ignores the objective evidence presented by a substantial body of research that the risks outweigh the benefits. Indeed risks to the child of involvement in a sexual relationship with an adult are probably higher than the risks from other activities where we routinely forbidden adolescent and child participation such as driving and drinking. The large number of adults who feel that they were abused sexually and are seeking refuge in the courts years after the offense points to the long term negative effects of sexual child abuse.

No one can argue that all child/adult sex is risk free for the child. If child/adult sex were to be allowed, who would decide if the benefits outweighed the risks in a particular case? The pedophile, the child, the parents, some social agency. It is of course absurd.

Suppose that a group of men who routinely physically assault their wives were to commission a study of women currently living with men who beat them, with the researchers -- friends of the assailants -- interviewing the women in the shared residence although not in the actual presence of the assailant. Would any serious researcher consider the results of such research "objective" proof that domestic assault should not be illegal? Suppose sociologists friendly to the assailants were to conduct a meta-analysis of research on domestic violence and report that the majority of women stayed in abusive relationships because they still loved their assailant or perceived the benefits to outweigh the losses incurred by leaving. Would this be "objective" evidence that domestic violence can be a positive experience? Would a study which found that domestic violence was common in other societies and during other eras be objective proof of its "naturalness"?

Domestic violence, slavery, human sacrifice, and ritualized child sexual abuse have been practiced in certain cultures, but that doesn't mean that we should imitate these societies. At some point the "objective" must be judged by a higher principal, in this case the protection of children must be the primary consideration. To even discuss the objective benefits some children might possible receive from being sexually abused is to betray these children. Dr. Finkelhor makes this absolutely clear in his response to the 1990 Bauserman article

Ultimately, I do continue to believe that the prohibition on adult-child sexual contact is primarily a moral issue. While empirical findings have some relevance they are not the final arbiter. The social judgment that slavery is reprehensible would not have been challenged by empirical findings that some slaves felt positively about being a slave (as some undoubtedly did) or even benefited from it.

Some types of social relationships violate deeply held values and principles in our culture about equality and self-determination. Sex between adults and children is one of them.

If those who believe that children must be protected allow the "dialogue" to be conducted on "objective" grounds, they will be playing a rigged game which they cannot win.


Male Intergenerational Intimacy. (1991) NY: Haworth

Bauserman, R. (1990) Objectivity and Ideology: Criticism of Theo Sandfort's Research on Man-Boy Sexual Relations. Journal of Homosexuality. 20, 1/2. 297 -312

Finkelhor, D. (1990) Response to Bauserman Journal of Homosexuality. 20, 1/2 :313 -315

Mrazek, D. (1990) Response to Bauserman Critique. Journal of Homosexuality. 20, 1/2: 317 -318

Sandfort, T., Brongersman, E., van Naerssen, A. (1990) Man-boy relationships: Different Concepts for a Diversity of Phenomena. Journal of Homosexuality. 20, 1/2: 5 12.

Schmidt, G. (1990) Forward: the debate of Pedophilia. Journal of Homosexuality. 20, 1/2: 1 -4.

Browne, A., Finkelhor, D. (1986) Impact of child sexual abuse: A review of the research. Psychological Bulletin 99, 1: 66 -77.

Duin, J. (1999) Critics assail study affirming pedophila: Reaction flares on Internet, talk radio. Washington Times. March 23.

Mirkin, H. (1999) The pattern of sexual politics: Feminism, homosexuality and pedophilia. Journal of Homosexuality. 37, 2: 1 - 24.

Rind, B., Bauserman, R. (1993 ) Biased terminology effects and biased information processing in research on adult-nonadult sexual interactions: An empirical investigation." Journal of Sex Research. 30, 3: 260 - 269.

Rind, B., Tromovitch, P., Bauserman, R. (1998) A meta-analytic examination of assumed properties of child sexual abuse using college samples. Psychological Bulletin. 124, 1 :

Sandfort, T. (1984) Sex in pedophiliac relationships: An empirical investigation among a non-representative group of boys. Journal of Sex Research. 20, 2:123 -142.

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From Dale's Disk, bauserma.rtf - Sept. 1999
Formatted in HTML 2000 10 25 —WHS